Happy birthday, Hell Gate!

The Hell Gate Bridge, which stretches over the East River from Astoria to Wards Island, will celebrate its 100th year on Thursday, marking a century since officials celebrated its opening with a dedication ceremony in 1917.

At the time, newspaper headlines called it “the greatest of all bridges” — a reputation that still rings true for many who live near the span, locals say.

The Hell Gate Bridge, which stretches over the East River from Astoria to Wards Island, will celebrate its 100th year on Thursday, marking a century since officials celebrated its opening with a dedication ceremony in 1917.
Hell Gate Bridge at 100 Years
Happy birthday, Hell Gate!

The Hell Gate Bridge, which stretches over the East River from Astoria to Wards Island, will celebrate its 100th year on Thursday, marking a century since officials celebrated its opening with a dedication ceremony in 1917.

At the time, newspaper headlines called it “the greatest of all bridges” — a reputation that still rings true for many who live near the span, locals say.

“People in Astoria … they’ve sort of adopted the bridge as kind of their own,” said Bob Singleton, head of the Greater Astoria Historical Society, which is planning a celebration for the bridge Thursday. “It really sort of defines our neighborhood.”

Designed by engineer Gustav Lindenthal, the Hell Gate was built to carry both freight and passenger trains along the New York Connecting Railroad to link Queens and The Bronx, according to news reports at the time. It’s operated by Amtrak today.

The historical society will celebrate the bridge’s milestone with a lecture and a party on Thursday where Dave Frieder, a photographer and bridge historian, will discuss how the span was built and present a slideshow of photos.

The festivities will also include a birthday cake and champagne, according to Singleton, who said the event is free and open to all.

Read more here

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